MEP anger over football poppy ban

Published Nov 01, 2016

Mike_Hookem.jpgUKIP Defence Spokesman Mike Hookem MEP: "The wearing of poppies is not a political statement nor is it glorifying war.

"It is an act of remembrance of those who gave their lives, including the 15 professional and top level footballers who were killed in World War II. They did so in order to secure freedom and liberty including the right for players to play football and fans to support in peace.

"I hope the FA treat this FIFA ruling with the contempt it deserves and our players proudly wear the poppy on their shirts and fans wear their poppies with pride."

The decision to ban England and Scotland football players from wearing poppies in their World Cup qualifier is "disgraceful," added UKIP MEP James Carver.

"It is an outrage for FIFA to forbid them wearing poppies on their shirts because they sniffily consider it ‘a political statement,” said Mr Carver.

"It makes me seethe that they should interfere in this way. How dare they? I regard it as an insult to our brave members of the Armed Forces, both living and dead.

"Wearing a poppy to mark Remembrance Sunday is a proud tradition in this country and with the terrible conflicts still raging in the world it has never been more important to show respect for those who gave their lives to keep us safe."

Mr Carver, who served in the Reserve Forces, added, "Wearing a poppy is a matter of personal choice. Take for example West Brom footballer James McClean, who is from Londonderry and plays for the Republic of Ireland. He refuses to wear a poppy on his shirt.

"While I disagree completely with his view, it is his prerogative and I respect that. But it is a completely different thing for a body like FIFA to stick their interfering boot in and dictate what players do in this regard."

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